Jan 23, 2009

Diabetes Slows Brain Function, Even in Middle-aged

A team of Canadian researchers said that diabetes, including those mild and controlled cases, slows mental functions. "It's not a huge cognitive defect, but it seems to appear early in the course of type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, the defect does not snowball over time, at least for those with mild or moderate diabetes."(WebMD)

Below--Full Story of Diabetes' Effects in Brain Function

"Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, studied 41 adults with diabetes and 424 adults in good health. The study participants were between the ages of 53 and 90 and were tracked for several years.

The findings support earlier studies that have found diabetes impairs cognition. But the new study also showed that the deficits seem to begin early in the course of the disease and are not limited to elderly people. The researchers also found that adults with diabetes scored worse on two of five mental processing tasks that were measured: executive functioning and speed. There were no differences between the two groups in memory, verbal fluency, reaction time and perceptual speed. The deficits detected were not enough to impair a person's ability to work or function in daily life, the authors said, but they appear to predict additional cognitive decline."(Los Angeles Times)

"Earlier studies have linked diabetes to a decline in mental function. But not all mental functions are affected equally, find Roger A. Dixon, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

Diabetes patients had normal reaction times and normal perceptual speed. But they were slower on tasks requiring rapid and precise processing of new verbal information. The defects involved speed and not verbal fluency.

The findings appear in the January issue of Neuropsychology." (WebMD)

Sources: Los Angeles Times and WebMD
Diabetes Slows Brain Function, Even in Middle-aged